Replacing a Sky Hub and ASUS RT-AC68U - advice on best options needed

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be4con

New Around Here
I currently run a Sky FTTC network using the Sky Hub as a modem with the AC68U as router. The ASUS runs Merlin, and I have had this setup for a few years without any problems. I'm aware that this setup isn't recommended because the Sky Hub doesn't have a modem only or bridge mode, but I have DNS and wifi turned off on the Hub and the AC68U sits in a DMZ. This seemed to work fine for years and it hasn't really caused me any issues, so I never saw the need to get a separate VDSL modem like the Vigor 130.

I started to have network issues a few weeks ago, with constant disconnections, and thought it was the Sky hub causing the problem - I kept having to reboot the Sky Hub and the AC68U to get things back up and running. I just so happened to have an updated Sky Hub (the Sky Q hub) so I replaced the existing SR102 with that, but the issues remain and I have pretty much narrowed it down to the problem being with the AC68U, rather than the Sky hub.

So, I have committed to replacing the AC68U. I'd prefer to replace everything with an integrated VDSL modem router, and dispense with the 2 box solution. Partly that's down to space and aesthetics, but also I want to reduce any risk of potential bottlenecks with chained devices. However, I'm open to recommendations on the best solution, and if 2 boxes is the way to go then so be it..

I have the following requirements:
  1. If it's a single box solution, it needs to be compatible with Sky, that's a given - so as I understand it that means MER and Option 61 support
  2. Needs to be possible to install VPN on the router - I've been really happy with Merlin's FW for that, it's been a breeze to maintain the VPN, but I don't have any experience with other setups, so I'm not wedded to that as the only option. I use PIA but I'm guessing any router that allows OpenVPN or Wireguard setup is fine
  3. On the back of that, Wireguard compatibility would be nice but not essential
  4. Needs to support 20+ wireless devices
  5. I'd like to future proof as much as possible, so if 2 boxes are better than 1 in that regard then this would be the priority - I am with Sky through inertia partly - they provide as fast fibre as any other company in this area (currently c35Mbps) - but if better fibre becomes available then I will shift. I've been happy with Sky though so I'm not going to move without good reason. If 2 boxes are still the way to go I am going to replace the Sky hub with a VDSL modem though at this time.
  6. I have around 15 wired devices, currently connected using Powerline adapters via switches. I may consider cabling in the future but I'm fortunate that Powerline works really well in my house maxing out my network throughout, so at the moment I have no reason to make the switch. Having a decent number of ports is not essential, therefore, but would be future-proofed.
  7. I have a budget of up to around £250 for whatever solution is recommended.
I was looking at the AC86U as a small upgrade, but I appreciate I will need a VDSL modem still. I probably can't stretch to the AX models, and I don't think most of my devices generally support that protocol currently. For the all in ones I was looking at the following link https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.p...uters-for-uk-fttc-fibre-broadband-isps.html/2 but the recommended routers there all seem to have been discontinued.

Can anyone recommend a solution for me? Thanks in advance
 

be4con

New Around Here
I've now started looking at the ASUS DSL-AC88U AC3100 as an all-in-one solution. Can anyone offer an opinion on that?
 

be4con

New Around Here
I've now started looking at the ASUS DSL-AC88U AC3100 as an all-in-one solution. Can anyone offer an opinion on that?
Scrap that, I needed to move on with this and further research suggests the all-in-one might not be the best solution. I have ordered an RT-AC86U plus a HG612 VDSL modem. Not sure if anyone is interested, but thought I would share in case anyone Googles and finds the thread.
 

magician2905

New Around Here
Hey be4con,
Pretty sure that Sky use the Openreach (formerly BT) network or maybe the LLU setup.
Either way that should mean that any FTTC compatible hardware will work.
Rather than use an ancient HG612 probably the cheapest upgrade is to buy a BT Business Smart Hub Broadband Router Modem Type A.
It MUST be the Business version as this can be set in bridged mode and will then work purely as a modem. Your current Asus router can then continue to operate your wifi etc.
I have a much the same setup myself.
Just one thing to point out is that currently the Green Exchange Cabinets mostly run either Huawei or ECI/Lantiq hardware. If you have a Huawei modem connecting into an ECI/Lantiq cabinet it can affect your connection and speed - also vice versa with ECI/Lantiq Modem connecting to a Huawei cabinet. I only found this out from personal experience!
 

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